Even though it's only Tuesday, it's already been a busy week since it's the last before Crossover. The committees and subcommittees have had long dockets and extra meetings to finish their work by next Tuesday. In the House Education committee, they held several meetings of the Education Innovation subcommittee and Elementary and Secondary Education subcommittee yesterday and today. Here’s are the highlights from those meetings. All bills that reported from the subcommittee will now be considered before the full committee on Wednesday morning.
Education Innovation subcommittee – Monday morning meeting
HB895 (Greason) removes existing provisions related to standard and advanced studies diplomas and standard and verified units of credit. Additionally, it requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements to: (1) Develop and implement a Profile of a Virginia Graduate that identifies the knowledge and skills that students should attain during high school in order to be successful contributors to the economy of the Commonwealth, giving due consideration to critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship; (2) emphasize the development of core skill sets in the early years of high school; and (3) establish and require students to follow in the later years of high school alternative paths toward college and career readiness that include internships, externships, and credentialing. The bill was unanimously reported from the subcommittee.
HB831 (Greason) requires the Board of Education to include computer science and computational thinking, including computer coding in the Standards of Learning and program of instruction. Several other Delegates had similar computer science bills and were all incorporated into HB831. With a substitute the bill was unanimously reported from the subcommittee.
Elementary and Secondary Education subcommittee – Monday morning meeting
HB167 (Cole) permits local school boards to allow any school board employee who is a former law-enforcement officer and ceased or retired from serving in such capacity while in good standing to possess a firearm in (i) any public elementary or secondary school in the school division, including buildings and grounds; (ii) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; and (iii) any school bus owned or operated by the local school board. The subcommittee recommended tabled the bill.
HB187 (Taylor) requires the plans or blueprints for the construction of a new public school building to include an indoor active shooter gunshot detection and alerting system. The subcommittee recommended reporting and referring the bill to the Appropriations committee on a 4-3 vote.
HB682 (Peace) allows a superintendent to apply to the Department of Education for an annual waiver of the teacher licensure requirements for an individual whom the local school board hires or seeks to hire to teach in the area of career and technical education. The individuals must have at least 4,000 hours of recent and relevant employment experience. The subcommittee recommended reporting on a 7-2 vote.
HB864 (Hugo) allows a school board to conduct a teacher grievance hearing before a three-member fact-finding panel. Under current law, the school board has the option of appointing a hearing officer or conducting such hearing itself. The subcommittee recommended tabling the bill.
HB1234 (Lingamfelter) authorizes a school security officer to carry a firearm in the performance of his duties if he is a retired law-enforcement officer and the local school board grants him the authority to carry a firearm in the performance of his duties. The subcommittee recommended reporting the bill on a 7-2 vote.
HB1279 (Anderson) requires public schools to hold a fire drill at least once every week during the first 10 school days of each school session and at least two additional fire drills during the remainder of the school session. Under current law, every public school is required to hold a fire drill at least once every week during the first 20 school days of each school session and at least once every month during the remainder of the school session. The bill also requires every public school to hold a lock-down drill at least once every week during the first 20 school days of each school session and at least two additional lock-down drills during the remainder of the school session. Under current law, every public school is required to hold at least two lock-down drills every school year. The bill was reported on an 8-1 vote from the subcommittee.
Education Innovation subcommittee – Tuesday morning meeting
HB436 (Austin) requires the Department of Education to award recovery credit to any student in grades three through eight who fails a Standards of Learning assessment in English, reading, or mathematics, receives remediation, and subsequently retakes and passes such assessment, including expedited retakes. The subcommittee unanimously recommends reporting with amendments.
HB520 (LeMunyon) requires each school division that provides for the redistricting of school boundaries to permit any enrolled student who is assigned to a different school in the school division as a result of such redistricting to remain, at the request of his parent, at the school at which he is currently enrolled until he completes the highest grade level at such school. While the bills includes several other provisions relating to the redistricting process and included a substitute bill, the subcommittee recommended tabling the bill.
HB1377 (LeMunyon) requires local school divisions to notify the parents of each student where the number of students in a class exceeds the prescribed class size limit no later than 10 days after the date on which the classes exceed the limits. The bill was unanimously reported from the subcommittee.
HB565 (Lingamfelter) rewrites the required elements of a charter application and the charter contracting process. The bill does not restrict the Board of Education’s authority to authorize a charter school pursuant to the passage of the constitutional amendment. The subcommittee recommends reporting the substitute on a 5-4 vote.
We look forward to seeing you at the VSBA Capital Conference tomorrow and Thursday!